book review

Smoke & Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg –Review


As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.

A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.

Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…

-Goodreads Synopsis

Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

My Rating: 4.5 /5

My Favourite Quote: “Rich people always ate tiny meat”

It has been a while since I’ve read some proper YA and I’m so glad I did! I found this book to be such a pleasure to read as it was both incredibly atmospheric as well as being fun and fast paced!

I really enjoyed how Sandis was portrayed throughout this book. We enter the book and quickly learn that she is being held captive because she can act as a human vessel for a mysterious spirit , and I think her characterization fits this scenario. In books like this I often find myself so frustrated because the main character acts incredibly brashly, and while I think there is merit in characters like this I was pleasantly surprised to see that Sandis while brave is initially quite cautious. She’s smart and she bides her time, while also having the ability to act spontaneously when needed—and I think this is so refreshing to see and seem very real to me!

In addition to the wonderful characterization, I also loved the world building in this novel. The whole world seems incredibly vast, while also being claustrophobic at times. The world seems really dark and gritty while also leaving room for ancient magic. I found it to be a very immersive reading experience. The world reminded me a bit of A Darker Shade of Magic’s world by V.E. Schwab, so I think if you enjoyed that series you might like this world as well!

I also have to mention the cover, which I think is really unique and striking. And I think fits well with the mysterious magical lore that is touched on in the book.

My only critique is that it ended with a cliff-hanger, and now I can’t wait for the sequel to come out!

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a dark magical world to delve into!

Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR and 47North for sending me this ebook for review!

If you have read this book I’d love to hear your opinions! I also would love to hear if any of you have read The Paper Magician, I have heard such good things online about it too!

13 thoughts on “Smoke & Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg –Review”

  1. Great review! I was considering requesting the ARC for this and I have to say you bought me with your review. 🙂 I’ve read The Paper Magician trilogy, and the fourth book in that series which features different characters but the same magical world. The concept of magic is what I loved the most there, I had some trouble with characters but Holmberg’s writing has definitely improved since then!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book sounds fantastic! I was going to say I’d have to pick up a copy, but … it seems like I got it as a Kindle First last month? And I have no recollection. So wow, I might have a little problem, after all. xD Past me knew future me would want to read it, so I guess that just makes me a psychic. 😉 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award! 😊☀️

    By the way, I have three sites and the post is on the two that are not my main sites so you can click on my profile for links😅

    Liked by 1 person

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